The two weeks are up and the hydration challenge has come to an end!
I would like to say I was triumphant but alas I was not... On two separate occasions, I only drank 1.5 litres before dropping off to sleep. I could blame the fact I'm travelling at the moment but that is just shifting blame so I'll take the responsibility and try harder next time. I found a cool infographic at Aquazania.com detailing why you need water and a few tips as well! The only thing to be aware of is it says you need 3.7 litres of water not 2 but the company is based in South Africa so I feel this is slightly biassed towards much hotter countries.
I'm still very pleased as I managed to set up a few good systems for implementing water drinking into my everyday routine so I will definitely be carrying on this habit as predicted in the initial challenge. There were a few different things that worked for me in setting my water routine.
- Having a dedicated bottle and knowing exactly how much is in it. For me it was a half litre plastic bottle though in the future I'm going to buy a proper durable plastic bottle to keep with me.
- Always starting the day with a drink of water. First thing when I wake up I have a drink of water, I haven't had any in 8 hours so I'm probably needing a top up right?
- Always have at least half a litre of water to hand. I carried my bottle everywhere with me so I could always have a drink when I needed one.
- Finally, I didn't count small glasses or drinks from fountains, that way even if your under by the end of the day you will likely be a lot closer than you think.
As soon as this challenge started I quickly realised that this challenge was not going to be as easy as I thought, some days I reckon I would only have drank a litre or less had I not been making the effort. So I begun to feel a lot of great benefits (aside from not being thirsty of course) But two of them stuck out the most for me:
On the days where I drank plenty of water I found I drifted off to sleep much faster than normal. I could get into bed read for a little while then fall asleep in 10-15 minutes. It's awesome! I often take 30-60 minutes of tossing and turning and thought patterns running wild but I found myself just drifting off damn near straight away. This is most likely because your brain is 85% water so being hydrated before bed means your brain can work properly to sort all your thoughts out and allow you to calm out all your worries and go to sleep. Something I will definitely bear in mind if I find myself tossing and turning! Do any of you guys find you sleep better when hydrated?
Drinking water is a great way to stay in the moment.I would be doing all my day to day activities brain doing it's thing, chattering away to itself but at least once an hour I would have to come back into the moment to ask my self if I was thirsty and when I last had a drink. This would take me in to the present where I could get some water have a drink re energise my brain and carry on into the next task at hand.
This took me by surprise but I loved it, it's such an easy way to ground yourself and have a quick check in with yourself. You cant take on the world unless your on top of your game, and to be at the top of your game you need to be able to stop, self heck and tune up, i.e. get some food, some water, whatever your body is craving.
All in all I'd call the challenge a success. I didn't manage to meet my target but I am not much more aware of my water intake, how it affects me and the routine that works for me. Going forwards I should be able to carry on no problems at all.
For the next two weeks I am going to draw a mandala every day. A lot of people use these as a form of meditation or mindfulness so I'm excited to give it a try.
This is a mandala for those of you who don't know and I'm using the site Art is Fun for a guide on how to draw them if anyone is going to join me!. Now I have drawn a few of these in the past but never very regularly so there's a few things I'm hoping to come from this.
- I'm interested to see how I improve with doing something I'm relatively new to everyday.
- I'm curious to see to see how I feel after, am I calmed, annoyed I cant do it, maybe try before bed to see if it helps me sleep?
- I'm hoping to have a lot of fun!
I'll be posting picture on my Twitter for anyone who wants updates mid challenge so give me a follow to keep up yourself and tweet at me to let me know if you guys draw any yourselves!